This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

Select language   >   IT EN RO PO LT

Collection of Reviewed Teaching Resources

THE BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLE OF CARBON Photosynthesis-Laboratory activities

Subject taught
- Biology


Type of Product
- Web Site/Portal

Language Skills Developed
- Listening
- Reading

Transferable/Scientific Skills Developed
To observe, analyze and describe phenomena belonging to natural reality and to the aspects of daily life To formulate hypothesis and verify them To use simple schematizations and modelling To acquire and understand information and know how to connect it To face problematic situations.

General aims.
With this laboratory activity, using spinach leaves, we want to demonstrate that, in the presence of light and carbon dioxide, the leaf tissues produce gas bubbles. With this experiment it cannot be shown that the bubbles are oxygen, but by using a control, it can be highlighted that they are formed only when the leaves are immersed in a sodium bicarbonate solution (which releases CO 2) and not when they are immersed in pure water.
When we dissolve the baking soda (NaHCO3) in water, carbonic acid (H 2CO3) and sodium hydroxide (NaOH) are formed. The carbonic acid then decomposes into water and carbon dioxide gas, which is why the dissolution of the baking soda in water makes it sparkling.
It can also be shown that bubbles are formed only in the presence of strong light, moving the experiment into the dark and making further observations.

Finally, it can be demonstrated the effect the light has on the process by varying its intensity.
Laboratory activities are very important, they aim to develop scientific research skills in children in order to formulate hypotheses, to design experiments, to know how to observe, to be able to perform measurements and to be able to interpret their results
Linguistic aims
• To improve language skills in L2
• To enrich scientific vocabulary
• To know how to move from one linguistic register to another
• To produce clear and coherent texts in L2
• To summarize written texts

Subject specific aims
• Knowing how to experimentally test that plants produce gas.
• Knowing how to demonstrate the effect of changing the intensity of light in the synthetic photo process.

Target group age
14/15 age

Level of competence in English (CEFR)

Time required to use the resource with the students

How to use it
After addressing the analysis of the resource with the teacher, the students are divided into small groups, each of which will be provided with the activity sheet. At the end of the experiment, the students will answer the questionnaire in the form and discuss about it.

Possible difficulties for the students
For a successful experiment, you must carefully follow the protocol and pay attention to the video

Strength/ Weakness Extreme clarity Scientific reliability The resource is a web page edited by Larry MacPhee His biography: “Larry MacPhee started his professional career as an evolutionary biologist.... He was named a 1996 Access Excellence Fellow by the Biotech pioneer, Genentech. He has worked as a technology mentor and high school Biology teacher in Southern California, and as a technology instructor and computer support specialist for the University of California, Irvine's Department of Education. Since moving to Flagstaff, Arizona, Larry has taught classes for the NAU Biology Department, College of Education, and Liberal Studies Program. For the Science Learning Center, he has led workshops on educational technology for school teachers in Flagstaff and on the Navajo reservation. He was awarded an Eisenhower Math and Science Grant in the Summer of 2000. In 2001, he became Director of the Center for Technology Enhanced Learning, NAU's online learning support group. In 2006, Larry became the Associate Director of e-Learning at NAU... During Spring, 2007 Larry worked as a consultant for Blackboard in Washington, D.C., explored learning spaces at D.C. area universities, and telecommuted to NAU. In 2014, Larry and family spent the Fall semester in Guelph, Ontario, Canada while Alice was on sabbatical and Larry telecommuted for NAU. Larry is a highly rated online course designer and instructor, and is a recognized expert on the design of learning spaces and the effective use of educational technologies. He consults frequently on the design of high quality.” Pedagogical value (e.g. collaborative learning, self–directed learning, peer assisted learning, etc) The methodology used is essentially based on laboratory teaching and on cooperative learning Laboratory teaching is very effective, in fact it promotes not only the operation, but mainly the dialogue, the reflection on what is done thus offering students the opportunity to personally build their knowledge. Furthermore, it encourages an active participation of the students towards the knowledge that occurs out of curiosity and challenge. Finally, the laboratory is the ideal place to investigate, analyze and reflect, and where students can test and apply theories by making abstract concepts concrete. However, investigative processes do not always go smoothly and students need guidance to make sense of their results. With cooperative learning, students learning in small groups and helping each other feel co-responsible for the mutual path and objectives achieved.